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Mobile Learning in Security and Defense Organizations

hand holding and operating mobile phone
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21 - 24 Oct 2012


11th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning
Helsinki Congress Paasitorni

Helsinki, Finland

Event type:


Last year the ISN organized a workshop entitled “Mobile Learning in Security and Defense Organizations,” which linked up the mobile learning projects being pursued by the PfP Consortium's Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) community. The findings from the workshop have now been consolidated in a special issue of the Consortium's "Connections" quarterly journal. They confirm that security and defense organizations face three key challenges in implementing mobile-based learning programs.

1. Readjusting organizational laws and regulations;

2. Ensuring the interoperability of mobile learning solutions;

3. And actually adopting novel approaches to educational design.

The "Connections" special edition does indeed attempt to address the above challenges. It begins by looking at the chocking influence of laws and organizational regulations in the security and defense sector. As before, defense organizations continue to have strict rules on when and how its members can use mobile devices, as Hodges and Stead emphasize in their introductory paper. As a result, they stress the need for greater awareness on how organizational, national and international regulations influence the introduction of new educational technologies and approaches in defense-centered institutions.

Dr. Christian Glahn then analyses how security organizations can leverage their existing educational resources to support mobile learning. More specifically, he argues that they can lower existing barriers to this type of learning by using SCORM-compliant materials that many organizations already use.

In their follow-on contribution, Murray and associates build on Glahn's recommendations and anticipate the ways SCORM might be used in the future.

Next, Ternier and colleagues confirm that future mobile learning not only requires the above changes and adjustments, it also requires developers and practitioners to revise the instructional design concepts now used for ADL. This needed reconceptualization is not only necessary for novel approaches such as mobile collaborative simulations, but also for more conventional ones such as testing and content delivery. To meet this overall challenge, Ternier and colleagues' article introduces the ARLearn framework, which is designed to promote location-based and context-aware simulations for security/defense teams operating in real-world settings. (It might be noted that his framework, given its 'authenticity', has already been used by UNHCR for its security training at UNHCR.)

Finally, Dr. Glahn supplements the previous approach by reviewing the instructional design concept of ‘micro learning’, and its supporting analytics, in order to help increase the continuity of mobile learning. By closing on this note, this ADL-centered edition of “Connections” does indeed provide defense organizations with the answers they need to make mobile-based learning a reality rather than a novelty.